The inventor of the digital green card and other digital optical memory devices used by U.S. federal agencies and other nations has been appointed a research professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Electrical engineer Jerome Drexler, of Los Altos Hills, Calif., was appointed Feb. 7, 2005, to the position. Drexler will conduct research at Big Bear Solar Observatory, Big Bear, Calif. NJIT has operated and managed the observatory since 1997.
Drexler holds 76 U.S. patents. More than 50 of them are in optical data storage products and systems. NJIT awarded Drexler an honorary doctorate of science in 1979 and a master’s of science in electrical engineering in 1955.
“I welcome Jerry’s return to NJIT’s research community,” said NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch, PhD. “I view his experience and perspective as inventor and entrepreneur of value to the continuing success of NJIT's mission in education, research and economic development."
Drexler’s optical memory cards are perhaps his best known invention. In 1990, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Law Association named Drexler inventor of the year in honor of these electronic devices. The cards currently serve the U.S. State Department as border crossing cards and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, as green cards. Canada uses them as permanent resident cards and Italy uses them as national identification cards.
Drexler founded Drexler Technology Corporation (DTC), of which he served as chief executive officer (CEO) for 35 years. Drexler also founded in 1991, LaserCard Systems Corporation (LCS). On Oct. 1, 2004, DTC merged with LSC to become Lasercard Corporation (www.lasercard.com). The new company is publicly traded on NASDAQ.
Technion-Israel Institute of Technology named Drexler in 1999 an Honorary Fellow of the Technion. The Stanford Graduate School of Business named him in 1966 an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.
Drexler is now concentrating his efforts on writing. He is working on a sequel to a book he wrote: How Dark Matter Created Dark Energy and the Sun-An Astrophysics Detective Story, (Universal Publishers, 2003).